VIDEO | Karachi’s first-ever transgender-friendly church opens its doors

According to pastor Ghazala, around 2,000 Christian transgenders live in Karachi. Some time back, about 30 of them visited her makeshift church to perform their religious obligations.

In an exciting new development, Christian members of Karachi’s transgender community have gotten their own church after a pastor invited them to her house, where she has a small corner decorated for the services.

Pastor Ghazala Shafiq inaugurated the center on Pakistan’s Independence Day. She hoped she can provide the transgender community of Pakistan a religious experience since many of them complain that they aren’t allowed to enter a church or even touch a bible.

“No one was willing to pay heed to their problems, though they opened up to me and shared their stories”, pastor Shafiq said.

A church that transcenders all differences

According to pastor Ghazala, around 2,000 Christian transgenders live in Karachi. Some time back, about 30 of them visited her makeshift church to perform their religious obligations.

Shafiq said that despite the fact that Christianity gave transgenders an equal opportunity to pray in churches, people believed they were ‘dirty’ and shouldn’t touch the scripture.

These issues made her realize that the transgender community deserved a church of their own. While many people lauded her efforts, there was a considerable amount that also criticized her. The pastor is now raising money to construct a proper church building.

A 40-year old Nasira Gill, who was present at the service, said it is a dream come true to be able to hold a bible. She held the holy book in her hands.

“No one ever came to our rescue before, neither our parents nor any church”, Nasira said. She added that she had an inclination towards religion but had to sit on the backbenches whenever she stepped into a church to avoid harassment. Even then, people would look at them as if they had committed a crime.

“Everyone tried to tell us the right way of following our faith. Some insisted that we were women and must cover our heads, and others believed that we were men and should pray bareheaded”, Gill added.

Another transgender woman, Bushra said that the attitude these people had towards the transgender community drove people of her community away from their places of worship.

Watch the video here:

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